Martha Moments: Photographing Wedding Sets

Photographing the wedding sets for Kim at Painted Tongue Press has been one of the most rewarding, challenging, and great learning experiences of my time with the studio. See, I got this great camera and didn’t know how to use it. So when Kim said she needed to update her website, I was excited and volunteered to play photographer. Well, “playing” photographer flew out the window. This project has taught me all kinds of professional tricks of the trade. Not only about how to use my new camera, but about lighting, styling, and even more ways of how to manipulate and color correct photos in photoshop. (This coming from a graphic designer of 12 years, who’s used it almost daily!)

We started at the studio, where Kim and her assistants pulled together all the sets that needed photographing. Then, selecting from all kinds of paper and cloth for backdrops. Kim has so many different kinds of handmade papers to choose from! And I have my own collection that is growing quickly. Then, it was off to the florist to find flowers, that matched the sets. My living room quickly transformed into a photography studio with lights all around, camera on a tripod, and my ottoman serving as the platform, the back of a dining room chair was used to prop the backdrops. I became part florist, snipping and wrapping bunches of flowers held in perfectly in place with floral tape and wire, and part stylist, then finally a photographer. I propped all the invitation pieces with heavy card stock to stand up. And starting moving things around, setting up lighting. I even used the tricks I’d learned from a food stylist…never just reach in and move something! A lesson I learned the hard way several times, which results in all the pieces crashing down, and water from the bud vase everywhere. The food stylist recommended moving things with a chop stick or toothpick. Ingenious! Then, came the photograph…FINALLY! Click, click, click, went the camera as I moved the lighting around to reduce shadows and glare. I’d then download and preview the shots to make sure I got THE SHOT. But a lot of times, I’d notice one little thing that needed to be tweaked and would re-shoot until I was happy. Luckily, because I’d done so much work up front, there was minimal photoshop work to be done to complete the photos. A little rubber stamping to enlarge the background area, color correction as needed an they’re ready to go!

So, I think I might now be worthy of, say a lowly internship at Martha Stewart magazine. I’m sure there’s so much more I can and will learn. With that, as we post the new photos on the website over the coming month, I’d love to hear your comments!


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